dgraab - the member who asked this question - selected this as the best answer posted by another Education.com member.
from a fellow member
I just created a basket for our 18 month old with almost no candy at all (although i suppose we'll throw a few m&ms in one of his plastic eggs):
a plastic egg with pennies inside (to put in his piggy bank, one of his favorite activities :-)
a punch ball balloon
a duplo lego set with 4 pieces
a windup toy
CVS, Target, and the dollar store are all great places to go for this kind of little stuff!
My parents were never too keen to the idea of loading us up with sugar. As we got older the candy morphed into items, such as a book or basketball. They tried to avoid candy and movies since those weren't as healthy as sports equipment to get us outside and books which required us to actively engage them rather than sitting in front of the TV.
A battery powered toothbrush. A music CD, kids (especially boys) love the song, "Little Bunny Foo Foo". Popsicle containers for them to make juice pops with. A jump rope, whiffle ball & bat, and hula hoop. A special bedtime book for you to read to your child.
I include the candy (a few pieces inside plastic eggs that the bunny hides along with our dyed eggs). But I also put little "prizes" like mini-slinkies, hot wheels cars, and stickers in some of the plastic eggs. They're always more excited by those things than the candy. I let them eat a few pieces of candy on Easter day and then it kind of dissapears in the dark of night and they never say anything about it.
>Pencils, erasers and notepads
>Stickers and balloon-filled plastic eggs
>Hand-held, non-electronic puzzles (glittery Rubik's cube; wooden peg basketball game, etc.)
>Sugar-free chewing gum
>Animal trading cards
>Growing pet novelty eggs (add to water, watch it grow)
And a few pieces of chocolate candy sprinkled throughout. We also used shredded green paper (vs. plastic) for the grass.
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